Jim Aero Neutrino 4M F5J (Strong) Review

Jason Cole takes the Neutrino to the skies for some F5J soaring. Check out the full review below to hear his thoughts.

Splash

Introduction

Wingspan: 155.5" (3.95M)
Length: 73" (1.85M)
Flying Weight: 1494g as reviewed (Strong/Windy)
Motor: NeuMotor 1102/3.5Y/5.8 (P22)
ESC: Castle Creations Phoenix Edge Lite 50
Prop Size: GM 15x8 Folding Prop
Servos: MKS HV6100 (6)
Receivers: Jeti R9 & R3
Flight Battery: 3s 850mAH
Price: $1899.95
Available at: Soaring USA

The Neutrino F5J is an ultra-lightweight electric sailplane that is optimized for F5J competition. It features a 4-piece wing and 2-piece fuselage that lets it break down to a small size for transport. The longest parts when disassembled are the wing tips which are 44 inches (1120 mm).

The wing has series of transitioning airfoils designed for ultra light F5J gliders. This airfoil combo has great performance throughout a wide speed range, plus excellent reaction to changes in flap deflection, depending on the flight mode. The wings are tails are built with solid core construction using Rohacell cores. I am very excited and honored to review the Neutrino so let's open up the box and get this project started.

Video

What's in the Box

The Neutrino arrived well packed and protected. The box was thick and sturdy with plenty of bubble wrap so all the parts were in pristine shape. If you just order the kit, you'll receive all the airframe parts and hardware for the plane. It came with the wiring harness for the servos with multiplex and standard servo connectors, screws for the wing and horizontal tail and a fiberglass motor mount, receiver mount and ballast attachment mount. They also included pushrods for the wing and tail. You'll need to provide all the electronics and other gear.

Other Items Used for the Review

I purchased the majority of the gear from Soaring USA and also wanted to send a huge shoutout to MKS Servos for providing the servos and to Castle Creations for providing the ESC. Thanks for helping with the review!!

Assembly

Click Here for the build out and assembly thread

Power System

The power system consisting of the NeuMotor 1102/3.5Y/5.8 (P22), Castle Edge Lite 50, GM 15x8 prop and spinner and the Tattu 3S 850mAH 75C lipo battery seem like a perfect match for this plane. I tested the static load and it pulled 43A which is plenty safe for all the components. The power is excellent and it will climb vertically as long as you want. I did a quick full throttle run to 200M and it took a little over 20 seconds to reach that altitude. The gearbox runs and sounds smooth and I feel confident knowing that these are top of the line components that will last a long time.

Flying

Take Offs

The Neutrino pretty much flys right out of your hand. At full throttle, you can just guide it forward and the motor handles the rest. You could launch at idle speed if you want and the glide rate will give you plenty of time to add some throttle and search around down low before climbing out if you don't find any lift down low. In windy conditions, you just want to make sure you are pointed into the wind so the wing doesn't get blown over to one side.

Flying

Wow! Can I say I'm in love with an airplane? I think I can. The Neutrino blew away my expectations on what a big plane is capable of. It's like a big DLG in that it can slow way down and turn really tight to core a low level thermal. In thermal mode and in lift, it excels at climbing. I have camber mixed in with elevator and there are times in decent lift where I can pull full back on the elevator and the plane just takes it and climbs like a beast, it is really amazing to me how that works.

In cruise mode the plane moves well and is great for covering some ground looking for lift. I'm currently running my CG at 105mm and it indicates lift well. I got to fly recently in some higher winds around 10-15MPH and cruise mode still allowed the plane to penetrate. Overall handling just feels right to me. I honestly felt locked into the plane on the first flight which is pretty rare. It floats, it moves, it's stable, it can turn on a dime and you can put it right where you want it. One exciting moment during a test flight, I was coming in to land in thermal mode just seeing how slow it would fly and at around 4ft off the ground, just before I was about to pull the brakes out, the tail lifted. I thought, well let's see and I turned. I figured I would turn, run out of energy and land, but no, it held its altitude and gained energy. I turned some more and it climbed and kept on going. I milked more than a minute off that little bubble at the end of the day from 4ft! I don't think I've stopped smiling yet! It was crazy watching this huge 4M wing banking over and turning that low to the ground without stalling out and crashing.

Speed mode really gets it moving and in the 10-15MPH winds I never felt like I needed ballast. I could go out downwind and get it back easily. I did get bounced around a bit in the wind so ballast would help smooth it out and allow even better penetration, but I don't think I'll be considering ballast until the winds get well over 15MPH and that feels just to me for the strong windy version of this plane.

Landings

Getting the Neutrino on the ground is fun! The flaps are setup for 90 degrees and I've been using full crow mixing with the ailerons going up. This slows it down a lot and I am able to use the throttle stick to manage the speed to get the timing right. After not much practice I was nailing the landings within a foot of where I wanted and right on time. It should mean full landing points in F5J contests, assuming you don't go over time. I have not been dorking the nose in so as not to stress the motor and gearbox. The speed at which you land will determine the amount of slide, but it feels easy to manage based on where you are in your timing on the countdown. I can't wait to get to a contest and see how it goes.

Photos

Conclusion

I am extremely satisfied with the Neutrino. Even with it being the strong windy version and 10oz over what the Standard and Lite versions will be, it is everything I wanted in an F5J plane and I am so ready to start competing. I like how quickly it breaks down and how small it is for storage and transport. The quality of the materials and construction is top notch too and that makes it feel like the premium product that it is. I really can't think of much to complain about. I did need to add about 2oz of lead in the nose to balance at 105mm. I tried it without the nose weight at 110mm CG and it was still manageable, but I liked it better at 105mm. The standard and lite layup versions will be around 10oz lighter (41-43oz) and not require the nose weight so that is nice for the guys who want an extremely light plane. It would have been nice to have the pushrod tubes for the tail pushrods pre-installed and locked in place, but it's not that difficult to run some foam down the tube at intervals to ensure the pushrods won't bend or flex under load. If I had to build another one, I wouldn't change any of the gear. The power system is great and the MKS servos are perfect for the job.

The Neutrino flight characteristics felt right to me even on the first flight. As I was able to get more and more flights on it, it just kept getting better. It fits my style of flying perfectly. I can move around the sky as needed and float like a DLG in dead air. The brakes are effective and makes it easy to control speed on the landing approach to nail the timing. It's a joy to fly and I'm sure it will bring many hours of flight time to come. If I don't do well in upcoming competitions, it certainly won't be the planes fault.

Check out the Jim Aero Neutrino 4M F5J webpage here

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Thread Tools
Apr 19, 2019, 12:15 PM
Registered User
I like the turning behaviour. Very stable for such a large sailplane. Almost makes me want to reach for my wallet!
Apr 19, 2019, 02:15 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
That really surprised me how well it turns. I'll have the Neutrino down in Ocala, FL next weekend at Kenny World for the FSS Mixed Launch TD contest. I'm sure there will be plenty of folks who will want to take a good long look at it.
Apr 19, 2019, 03:02 PM
MSgt, USAF Ret.
Jim Frahm's Avatar
Thanks for the great review Jason. This plane looks like another winner in the carbon over foam category of sailplanes.

Jim
Apr 27, 2019, 03:43 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
First contest with the Neutrino. Mixed launch TD 150M launch for electrics. Came in 2nd place by 5 points. Getting my landings dialed in now. 2nd contest tomorrow and then ALES next week.
Apr 28, 2019, 07:09 PM
Scale Aircraft = Scale Crators
mikejr83's Avatar
Great flying this past weekend Jason! That Neutrino sure is one nice model. I I think the portability of some these models like the Neutrino, with its two piece fuse, will make them very popular. Some of us with small, MINI Cooper sized cars, appreciate the ability to break down a model into a space that could easily fit in a back seat.

I was impressed with the quality of this model. The spreadtow looked absolute perfect. One thing I thought was particularly good about the design was the vertical and rudder, very big and lots of control area. Personal preference is being able to use the rudder a lot when in dead or light air. This model looks like it would handle that type of control very well.

Jason is also a great pilot so it made the model look exceptionally well. He was the only pilot over the whole weekend to make all his flight times. I'm sure that Neutrino didn't help at all
May 24, 2019, 06:42 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
Neutrino wins the F5J contest at the Mid South Soaring Championships!
Jun 11, 2019, 11:06 PM
If it flies I like it.
HotdogX's Avatar
Congratulations on your win, Jason! You are a good pilot! Neutrino is a very nice ship and from what you have described it sounds like it might also fit my flying style. Will have to consider it (and save my pennies). I love that it breaks down into small pieces - very transportable.
Jun 12, 2019, 06:30 AM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
Thanks. I’ll have it with me at the NATS if you are going and want to take a closer look at it.
Jun 12, 2019, 11:11 AM
If it flies I like it.
HotdogX's Avatar
Sorry I won't be at the Nats. Good luck there. You might win!
Jun 14, 2019, 05:10 PM
Registered User
Jason,
Re: Jeti R3 and R9 Rx's
Please excuse my ignorance, but why TWO receivers?
Any information gratefully received.

EDIT :
Seek and ye shall find! R3 for the satellite!
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...17&postcount=3
Last edited by aerotony; Jun 14, 2019 at 05:22 PM.
Jun 14, 2019, 05:38 PM
RCG Admin
Jason Cole's Avatar
Thread OP
Yep, it’s an all carbon plane so satellite receiver is safer.


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